Digital marketing is a huge part of the overall marketing scene in the US and beyond – and it’s only getting bigger. Since the growth of social media, the increasing power of news websites, and the pandemic-spurred boom of online shopping, it’s time to get strategic. This means that creating a digital marketing strategy is a vital part of growing your business. And since there are many different types of digital marketing – how do you know which is best for your business?
So, if you want to start doing more digital marketing for your business, it’s helpful to have a breakdown of the many choices today. This way, you can have a better understanding of where to invest your time and marketing dollars.
What Are the Types of Digital Marketing to Invest in for Your Business’s Success in 2021?
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a type of digital marketing where you create content to bring in visitors to your website or other online platforms. The content you create might be in the form of blog posts, articles, white papers, videos, or another form of delivering content to your target audience.
With content marketing, you often aren’t creating content that is a direct advertisement for your product or service. Instead, you’re focused on creating helpful, engaging information that educates and entertains your audience.
This content is designed to:
- bring in website visitors through SEO (more on this below)
- build your authority in your industry
- provide additional information visitors need to decide if they want to become customers
How does content marketing work?
Let’s look at a few examples.
You could start a blog for your business that goes into detail about common questions and topics in your industry. These blogs would teach your audience more about what you do and provide them valuable information for free. This builds trust with your audience because you’re offering them something of value for free.
Creating a video series can be a great way to get your name out there by showing you’re an informed, authoritative source of info on your industry. You could focus on a how-to series or host weekly videos on the latest industry news to get high-quality content out to your viewers and prospects.
White Papers and ebooks
Writing well-researched white papers or ebooks can introduce your brand and company to a new, wider audience. They might be interested in going in depth to get information about your industry or products.
Anyone who downloads these longer materials is a great prospect because they are interested in deep knowledge about your specific topics. So think of these as excellent lead magnets for your website.
If you want to learn more about the specifics and strategy of content marketing, check out our previous blog posts on copywriting for content marketing, types of blogs for content marketing, and how content marketing can help grow your business.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a term that strikes fear into the heart of many business owners. Luckily, it’s not as complicated as it might initially seem.
In its simplest form, SEO is about enabling search engine bots to understand and navigate your website, while also attracting and engaging human visitors. That means SEO has a technical side, where you learn how to set up your website and content properly. In addition, it has a content creation side, where you ensure your website and content bring in visitors who stay and read and engage with your content.
SEO helps your business bring in sustained leads – prospects who enter your marketing and sales funnel without you spending money on ads. Creating a steady stream of leads coming into your business without tapping into your marketing budget is an effective, sustainable way to build your company for the future.
So how can you optimize your website and content for search engine marketing? It begins with keyword research – finding out exactly what your target audience is searching for on a frequent basis. Then you need to create the content that will bring those visitors in targeted around those keywords. And of course, you need to ensure your website is set up properly to make it easy for search engines like Google to crawl and read.
Want to know more? You can get much more in-depth guidance from our complete guide to SEO and the different types of SEO post.
3. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
If SEO is the best way to get sustained, organic leads, then pay-per-clicks (PPC) ads are the perfect companion. These paid ads can be on a search engine like Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords), on a social media site like Facebook, or a banner ad on a website. And these platforms all have something in common. And it’s that you pay for them depending on how many clicks through to your website you get from the prospects who view your ads. Hence, you only pay when your ads work.
Why focus on paid ads instead of just the free traffic you get from SEO? Both types of online marketing are important because SEO takes a long time to get results – typically at least a year. And in that time, your business has products to sell and bills to pay. PPC ads come at a cost because they are fast and effective in getting results. By investing in PPC ads, you can get prospects and results for your business quickly.
PPC ads are a versatile tool for businesses because you can set very specific budgets and parameters for your ads so you target only the most likely customers. This is especially critical for small businesses with minimal marketing budgets. As a result, you can still reap the rewards of PPC ads with a modest budget as long as your marketing efforts are strategic and targeted.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms are hugely popular across the world, and their popularity is only growing. That’s why they’re an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. Social media marketing is typically not focused on directly getting sales through a platform, unless you’re paying for ads.
Instead, you should focus on creating content that resonates and connects with your audience to build brand awareness with prospects and current customers.
You can also go beyond just connecting with your audience via your own content and bring in trusted advocates with significant followings to promote your product authentically – this is the strategy behind influencer marketing.
You can also engage in tactics like retargeting, where your ads appear on social media sites after prospects visit your website without making a purchase.
Social media marketing is highly versatile, since there are so many different kinds of social media channels out there today. You can find the right ones for your business with just a bit of research. Finding the ones that match your target customer and demographics is key to succeeding. Social media marketing can also be very low-cost to free, which makes it manageable for even the smallest businesses.
Social media gives your digital marketing strategy an important infusion of authenticity to continue building your connection to customers long after their first website visit or purchase. Get even more info about why social media is a vital part of your digital marketing strategy here.
5. Email Marketing
Sending targeted information in a timely way directly to your customers and prospects, for a low cost? It sounds too good to be true, but it’s actually possible with email marketing.
Breaking through the noise of digital marketing isn’t easy – it’s so effective that it’s become a very saturated field. But email marketing helps you do that by getting your content right into the inbox of leads and prospects. It’s also possible to highly target your email lists so you can get the right information to the right people, increasing your chances of success.
Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, but it’s stuck around because it’s so effective.
You can send your prospects and customers all kinds of emails to promote your business:
- product launch emails
- promotional emails
- informational emails
- referral program emails
- and more
For more, just check out our complete guide to the types of email marketing.
Email marketing can also help you promote your other types of digital marketing. Thus, you can get additional mileage out of your content marketing or your social media posts. Just be sure not to send emails too frequently, or you’ll be marked as spam.
With a thoughtful email marketing strategy and knowledge of the basics of email marketing for small businesses, you can build a highly successful email marketing campaign without a big marketing budget.
Bringing the Types of Digital Marketing Together
After digesting all this information, you might be left wondering which type of digital marketing you should pick to promote and grow your business. But really, you shouldn’t just pick one – each marketing tactic works well with at least one other type.
For example, your content marketing strategy can make your SEO strategy even more effective when you incorporate keyword research and SEO basics into your blog post writing. Or sending out marketing emails that link to new campaigns on your social media channels can make both types more effective by getting more views on both.
With that in mind, it’s helpful to think beyond just one or two types of digital marketing when you’re looking to grow your business. Instead, think about creating a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that incorporates the types of digital marketing that your business can afford and that will work best for you.
You don’t need to dive into all of them to start – that’s a good way to spread yourself too thin. But coming up with an overall plan will help you create the digital marketing campaigns that are most effective for your business.
Get Expert Guidance on Making the Different Types of Digital Marketing Work for You
Wondering which types of digital marketing will work best for your business, and how to execute them efficiently to get results?
That’s exactly what the expert team at Content First Marketing is here to help you do. We can help you create a custom, data-driven digital marketing strategy that gets you measurable business growth.
Schedule a free business review here to find out how we help businesses grow. You can use these insights for inspiration, and let us do the marketing for you.